Saying goodbye to our thriving Etsy shop in January of 2016 was nothing short of terrifying. We had sold $600,000 in 2015 on Etsy alone, making up 85% of our annual sales. The thought crossed my mind that it may very well be the end of Bailey's Blossoms as I knew it. I was partly right.. It WAS the end of Bailey's Blossoms as I knew it, but it was far from the end.
I made the slow walk out to my home office, which was a spare garage we had converted, to tell my small team the news. I looked at my office managers 8 month pregnant belly.
"Erin, are you telling me that after I have this baby, I might not have a job?"
The words stung as the realities of the situation and all those it could potentially effect continued to sink in. That was in fact what I had gone out to tell her, but in that moment something stopped me.
"No, I'm telling you that if you're flexible with me, your job description just might change."
"What do you want us to do now?" she asked, bewildered and somewhat frustrated by my response.
I drew in a deep breath. I wasn't sure at all if this was going to work, but we had to try.
"I want you to message every one of our customers individually, and let them know that Bailey's Blossoms can now exclusively be found at baileysblossoms.com"
Their eyes said what their mouths wouldn't. This was crazy. What type of impact could we really make in sending personal messages?
As they got to work, I turned to our neglected website and gave it the attention it so long had deserved. After a few hours, I went to check on our progress. I would forever be changed.
"CONGRATULATIONS! What an exciting move for you!" The praises flooded in, and soon after so did the orders.
Within 48hrs, we had tripled our sales, and we grew a staggering 233% in that year alone, taking us from a healthy 6-figure sales company, to an impressive 7-figure company, seemingly overnight.
What was it that made the difference?
Little did I know that I was putting all of my efforts into building up Etsy's brand, rather than my own!
"Where did you get that cute outfit?" "Etsy."
From Amazon and Ebay, to Facebook and Instagram, if you have an ecommerce business and you don't have your own website, you are robbing yourself.
3rd party platforms are not your home base, but rather the vehicle to drive you there. Claiming your brand starts with having a true "home base" website. It's one investment that will pay you back again and again! My heart bursts with pride each and every time I see a customer post #baileysblossoms - it wasn't always that way, and I am so thankful I learned that lesson the "hard way"! xoxo